ICS stresses need for a rethink on R22
Cooling and heating specialist ICS Cool Energy is advising users of existing R22 systems to find alternative solutions before 1 January 2015, when the use of this ozone-depleting refrigerant to service air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment will be banned. ICS recommends that sites with existing cooling systems in poor condition or not meeting current cooling loads should upgrade to systems using refrigerants such as R410A and R134a. Likewise, units in good working order will need updating, either with a simple retro-fill during a standard service or more comprehensive modification.
There is no recognised retro-fill solution for flooded or pumped-circulation systems. Conversion is a potential option, but may reduce cooling capacity and efficiency. One solution recommended by ICS is chillers using Turbocor compressors that can achieve part-load efficiencies up to 60% higher than European SEER values.
One recent project by ICS involved installing Turbocor chillers at Pinners Hall in east London as part of the phase-out and replacement of R22. Three water-cooled chillers, each with a cooling capacity of 562 kW, were installed, along with an intelligent management system. Each compressor weighs about 120 kg, much less than, say, a screw compressor.